Bristow Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UK-based training academy Helicentre Aviation to serve as its preferred provider of ab-initio commercial pilot training.
Under the MOU, Bristow will support Helicentre with the promotion of future pilot career events, actively support the development and mentoring of future aviators and engage with those training to become helicopter pilots at the early stage of their career. In return, Helicentre will be Bristow's preferred provider of ab-initio pilot training and recruitment in the UK, supporting the sponsored programmes run by Bristow. Cadets will have access to Bristow's flight ops team, which support both commercial air transport and search and rescue activities, with the ability to visit live operations.
Helicentre has and continues to support Bristow as the selected partner for its sponsored UK cadet programme. The programme provides fully funded training, from ab-initio to commercial pilot, on an Integrated CPL(H) course. Bristow also funds training for a multi-engine instrument rating under its UK cadet programme. The UK sponsored programme selects a number of candidates annually, with over 1,000 applications being received for the most recent course.
Upon completion of their initial pilot training, pilots undergo further training with Bristow's operational fleet. This specialised training is normally completed at Bristow's training facility in Dyce, Aberdeen, which is the only facility of its kind in the UK. The purpose-built centre has three helicopter simulators, which use advanced full motion technology combined with realistic visuals to replicate the experience of flying either the Leonardo AW189, Sikorsky S-92 or S-76 types.
“The signing of the MOU with Helicentre formalises a successful relationship that has been ongoing for the last three to four years," says Bristow UK director Matt Rhodes. "Helicentre is a key ab-initio training organisation in the UK, and the support it has provided Bristow with our sponsored cadet programme has been invaluable. The formalising of this relationship once again highlights Bristow's commitment to nurturing the aviators of the future. Our relationship with Helicentre and the diversity of our global helicopter business have made Bristow the first choice for a career in rotary aviation, and that has delivered many high-quality pilots over the years.”
Helicentre hosts regular open days and virtual seminars with Bristow to provide an opportunity for those interested to find out more about training and sponsored programmes, visit the training centre and speak to members of the team about the career opportunities available. The open dates for sponsorship will be published later this year. The full time, 12 month course is a fast-track and cost-effective route to becoming a professional helicopter pilot, and it is the only integrated rotary CPL course approved in the UK.
“We take great pride in training pilots to fly for Bristow. The added incentive students receive as a result of ongoing interaction with one of the largest operators of rotary aircraft in the UK adds to the overall gold standard training experience they can't get anywhere else,” adds Helicentre chairman Chris Line. “This MOU formalises and reinforces the fact that so many of our students have gone on to have successful careers with Bristow, and our partnership will continue to ensure there is a steady supply of highly trained rotary pilots for the future.”